By Brian Jack - First Lutheran Church
Jesus uses foot washing to tell his disciples that this is what serving him is going to look like. For anyone who wants to call Jesus their Lord, for anyone who wants to serve to make a difference, the way to do it is by washing your neighbor’s feet, or as a teacher of mine once put it, by doing what some might call “dirty work” for your neighbor.
Jesus says, “For I have set an example for you, that you should do as I have done to you.” If you want to serve Jesus - serve your neighbor. We can’t serve Jesus directly for a couple of important reasons. He doesn’t need anything we have, and every good thing we have came from him anyway. So as a primary example of what we can do to serve to make a difference, Jesus grabs a towel and gets to washing some dirty, smelly, gnarly feet.
For those of you who claim Jesus as your Lord, you may occasionally be called to some amazing, exciting or courageous deed that will leave people saying, “Wow! Look at you!” But more often than not your calling as a servant of Christ is to the regular dirty business of life that Jesus models here. It’s the sort of stuff that nobody would ever think of posting to social media, that ultimately serves Jesus as Lord.
How about that? Cleaning up, doing laundry, taking out the trash, keeping our ditches clean, raking the neighborhood yard, changing a stinky diaper, washing someone who can’t wash themselves - it’s ultimately the Lord who gets clean laundry, a clear path, a clean yard, a fresh diaper. It’s the Lord who gets cleaned up. When we serve our neighbor – whatever form that takes – we are serving the Lord.